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Port Water Drops

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I know this is probably a very newbie question, but, I have to ask anyways.

 

Should I use any kind of solution to help keep my lens port from holding water?

 

I have noticed that some days I hardly have any water spots on my port and other times it is extremely dotted.

This I would believe is from different water salinity or hardness at the time or where I am shooting.

 

Rain-X or a good Carnuba Wax?

 

Or just leave it as?

 

Thanks for putting up with a newbie question.

 

Greg

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do you mean water drops when shooting over/under's or blemishes on the port after use? there are a couple threads about treating ports to shed water droplets when shooting 50/50 shots, things like Rain-X and baby shampoo etc.

 

Definitly read those threads, cause i think they say to not use rain-x on acrylic ports... or was it glass... not sure.

 

If you simply mean your port gets hard water marks after use, I would use optical cleaning solution and a microfiber towel to give her a good (but gentle) cleaning.

 

If you mean while shooting UW you probably mean air bubbles, which can get attached when you first take the camera in. I just give it a quick rub with the neoprene forearm sleeve of my wetsuit to clear the bubbles. Cheers,

 

Chris

Edited by Undertow

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Greg,

Excellent question. I've been shooting shorebreak and other watershots and I've also had the problem of water drops on my port. If we're talking about the same thing, it comes down to technique. Most photographers, who shoot in Hawaii, spit on the port and rub it in a little bit at first before going into the water, and then once in, use the dip, point, shoot method. Normally, the chemicals and consistency of your spit are similar to what swimmers do for goggles- it helps to anti-fog the surface, and allow the port to bead water off the lense. However, normally for the first twenty minutes or so I've always had trouble with waterspots and drips down my port. I've not yet tried any artificial solutions to assist with the beading off process, but if you find something that works effectively I'd be interested in hearing your experiences.

-R. Yamada

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Rain X is for glass only and if the glass is optically coated it will destroy that as well.

 

I used to use Plexus or carnuba type waxes on my Ikelite film SLR dome and it was fine but I am not recommending, just saying what I used to do.

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... carnuba type waxes on my Ikelite film SLR dome...

 

Most manufacturers strongly recommend not mixing plastics such as acrylic and lipids (waxes and oils): the plastics can absorb lipid and crack, and the adhesives can degrade.

 

Spit, spit, and spit!

 

And fresh-water with a microfibre cloth for routine cleaning.

 

Tim

 

:)

 

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It sounds a little strange, but gently rubbing your dome port with a freshly cut piece of potato works well. The starchy molecules in the potato "juice" creates a small hydrophobic layer on the port and repels the water. The only downside is that the starchy coating washes away after a few minutes and the potato needs to be re-applied. Compared to many of the processed waxes etc - this is a much more eco-friendly way to go as well...Potatoes are usually readily available and cheap wherever you travel...

 

cheers!

 

- MDP

Edited by shark8matt

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Are these issues on the outside or inside of the port? I don't know much, but it seems like the issues I can foresee are fog on the inside of the port, and water streaks/drops on the outside when doing split shots? The last time I shot in a tropical environment, I had big problems with fog. I would bring the camera from inside (air conditioned and cool environment) out to the beach or somewhere outside. Once there, I would pull it out of my pack and notice crazy fog on the lens or any filters I happen to have on. Eventually I would have to open everything up and let it sit for about 5 min to clear up.

 

Do you guys have similar issues with ports fogging up when going on a dive trip? On the split shots on the surface, I have been told it helps to carry around a soft sponge to wipe down the lens?

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Are these issues on the outside or inside of the port?

 

These are outside port issues, shooting over-unders.

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The last time I shot in a tropical environment, I had big problems with fog. I would bring the camera from inside (air conditioned and cool environment) out to the beach or somewhere outside. Once there, I would pull it out of my pack and notice crazy fog on the lens or any filters I happen to have on. Eventually I would have to open everything up and let it sit for about 5 min to clear up.

 

Do you guys have similar issues with ports fogging up when going on a dive trip?

 

 

If possible, I don't store my photo gear in my room with the AC on I prefer all my gear to be at ambient temperature when I put my rig together. If you are on a trip, try to wake up early and bring your gear outside and let it sit while you are having breakfast or something. Better to avoid the fogging/moisture inside the housing altogether if you can...

 

cheers!

 

- MDP

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My thoughts: For fog it's best to set-up your housing in an environment that is colder than that of the ambient air and, more importantly, the water temperature. If you are in a tropical environment and set-up your housing in an air conditioned room (lower dew point...), you may find that it develops condensation on the outside of the housing and port. But who cares? All you have to do is jump in the water... The camera itself should not develop dew since the air inside the housing will warm up at the same rate. Just be careful not to come straight out and leave it in the sun or something. For cold water diving I will defer to the experts, but I believe there are other threads on here about the best ways to reduce fogging in cold water environments.

 

For cameras themselves you can use the plastic bag trick when coming out of a super cold hotel room into the warm sun...

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While dew point is a cause of condensation its not the only one. A major factor is temperature differential between inside of housing and outside of housing. This seems to be ignored in some cases. If there is no temp difference there is no condensation. Hence, stay away from A/C. Work at ambient temperature & greatly reduce the chance of condensation. It also helps greatly if you have an aluminum housing, which is a good conductor of heat, where molded/polycarbonate is not. Tropical or cold water - it makes no difference. Acclimate your housing before diving.

Edited by jcclink

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Good advice. I assume however you probably want to aclimate the housing close to the water temp, rather than the air temp? For example, if the air temp is 95-100 degrees in a tropical environment, and the water is going to be around 80, do you want to try to get close to 80 and setup your gear? Maybe turn down the AC a bit and set everything up?

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In theory, but I've never found that a few degrees in temperature makes a difference. My housing just sits in the shade for awhile before diving. Since the housing is aluminum it acclimates rather quickly. Polycarbonate will take longer.

Edited by jcclink

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I use baby shampoo to help the water sheet off the dome port when doing over/unders. Of course, there will usually be some minor spots but those can easily be removed in Photoshop. Regarding fogging up, the only solution is to keep the housing in an area that is not air-conditioned.

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Are these issues on the outside or inside of the port? I don't know much, but it seems like the issues I can foresee are fog on the inside of the port, and water streaks/drops on the outside when doing split shots? The last time I shot in a tropical environment, I had big problems with fog. I would bring the camera from inside (air conditioned and cool environment) out to the beach or somewhere outside. Once there, I would pull it out of my pack and notice crazy fog on the lens or any filters I happen to have on. Eventually I would have to open everything up and let it sit for about 5 min to clear up.

 

Do you guys have similar issues with ports fogging up when going on a dive trip? On the split shots on the surface, I have been told it helps to carry around a soft sponge to wipe down the lens?

 

Hi

Mainly to protect against leaks i bought some Leak Insure Sachets. What i found is they are excellent at absorbing moisture in the housing and work better than Silica Gel

http://www.leakinsure.co.uk

 

Hope this helps.

Johnno

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